Many factors are involved in the challenge of caring for our earth, but food waste is a significant factor in that equation. In fact, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, “Globally, if food waste could be represented as its own country, it would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, behind China and the US.”
Estimates suggest that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed, while at the same time, nearly 1 in 3 people globally don’t have access to adequate food. Food waste and food insecurity aren’t just a problem somewhere else – they are an issue right here in Utah, where 1 in 5 Utah kids are food insecure.
Approximately 600,000 tons of food are wasted every year in Utah, while 410,000 Utahns don’t always have enough to eat. Through our Grocery Rescue Program, we are seeking to change that by helping keep food out of landfills and getting it into the hands of those who need it.
This program is a partnership between Utah Food Bank and retailers across Utah. It provides a safe and efficient donation outlet for food that is nearing its expiration date but is still safe, healthy, and wholesome to eat. Six days a week, Utah Food Bank and our partners send refrigerated trucks throughout the state and pick up unsalable food donations that would otherwise be thrown away. Instead, donations are collected and distributed within 24 hours to Utahns who need them most.
Last year, our Grocery Rescue Program provided 19 million pounds of food for Utahns facing hunger- 26% of the total food we collected. A heartfelt thanks to the 288 retailers across the state who make this possible! Click HERE to learn more about our Grocery Rescue Program and the partners that make it possible.